A century before the
A century before the infamous “Mortara case,” a young Roman Jew, Anna del Monte, the daughter of a well to do family of the Ghetto, is kidnapped from her family home and imprisoned in the Casa dei Catecumeni. The aim of the action is to convert her to Catholicism. A well educated and articulate woman, Anna left a diary in which she recollects the days in which men and women of the Church tried all ways to “steal her soul”.
Her courage and ability to rebut the arguments of her kidnappers, won her back to her family and community. The rare testimony she left opens a window not only on the complex history of Jewish-Christian relations, but also on the clash between modern civil conscience and ruling authority at the dawn of the Emancipation Era.
Kenneth Stow is Emeritus Professor at the Università of Haifa, Israel. He has published many works concerning Jewish history and the history of Roman Inquisizione during the modern age; among the others: Catholic Thought and Papal Jewry Policy (1555-1593) (New York 1977); Alienated Minority: the Jews of Latin medieval Europe(Cambridge MA, 1992); Theater of Acculturation: the Roman Ghetto in the 16th century (Seattle 2001); Jewish Dogs: An Image and its Interpreters (Stanford CA., 2006).